Japanese wages data ... while business surges in Japan, wages lag ... more of the same this month (July data the latest):

Labor Cash earnings -0.3% y/y

  • expected 0.5% y/y, prior 0.4%
  • first decline since May 2016

Real cash earnings -0.8% y/y

  • expected 0.0% change y/y, prior -0.1%
  • Down for a second consecutive month
  • biggest decline since June 2015

Special payments (mainly these are summer bonuses)

  • down 2.2% y/y
  • first drop since January

Regular pay (determines base wages)

  • up 0.5% y/y
  • up for a fourth straight month

Overtime pay

  • +0.1% y/y

Falling wages being blamed on drops in summer bonus payments

Falling wages are an issue, probably most notably for the economy because they highlight the fragility of the sustainability of a recent improvement in consumer spending.

More ... comments from the Finance Ministry:

  • "Excluding the decline in special payments, wages remain in moderate increase,"